Third Sunday of Advent

December 11, 2016

By Mary Ann Wyllie, CSJ
St. Clair Shores, MI

Is 35:1-6a, 10; Ps 146:6-10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11

Are you the One we’ve been expecting,
or are we still waiting? Mt 11:3 (The Message)

Advent is my favorite liturgical season. It invites us to slow down (in spite of our culture’s Christmas frenzy), reflect on what it means that God took on our humanity, lived with us, showed us who God really is, and taught us how to live as children of God.

Today we are at the midpoint of our Advent journey to Bethlehem. Isn’t it true that at the midpoint of any journey we may have different feelings? I am as close to my destination as I am to the beginning. (Does a marathon runner remember so that they can do this – that they can finish?) Or the response might be that it is too late to turn back for either direction is the same distance (Does a cancer patient feel that if they have made it this far, they can see it through?) Or one might feel that they can’t go on and simply stop or turn back.

Advent gives us the time to reflect on this life journey, our journey to Bethlehem. The readings today give us many images of the good things that come to those who continue on the journey to find and recognize Jesus in our world now. We may not see deserts bloom (although they bloom in Phoenix in the spring) or the lame walk and the deaf hear (even though modern medicine has made great strides). And so we ask – are you, Jesus, the one we are looking for?

He assures us by his actions that indeed he is the one we long for. Jesus is here with us now but we won’t see him in his fullness until the end of time. We don’t have to wait, if we see with his eyes. Just open our eyes and see those in need and do whatever we can to comfort or heal them. We are halfway to Bethlehem: be strong, fear not, steady your heart. God is near.

Loving God, you are my companion on the journey
as well as my destination. Continue to lead me
and call me to live as you did.

Personal Challenge
Do one thing today to lighten the burden of someone
you meet, whether by prayer, a warm hug,
sharing some time or just a smile.

Check back on Thursday for our next Advent Reflection!

Courtesy of Ministry of the Arts

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